Proposed Military Cuts Draws Local Reaction
A number of Department of Defense (DOD) cuts proposed this week by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, draws sharp criticism from shore area 3rd District (R) Congressman Jon Runyan.
Runyan said plans to discontinue the use of the KC-10 aircraft will not only impact the Joint Base (JBMDL) because they're housed at Mcguire .... it would also affect our ability to respond to future threats.
"They do the majority of the refueling out there and transport and all that," explained Runyan. "It's kind of mind-boggling to think how are you actually going to be able to execute the mission if you cripple the capability?," questioned Runyan.
Runyan also expresses concern about Hagel's proposal to shrink the size of the U.S. military to pre-World War II levels but investing more money in electronic intelligence gathering programs and placing a greater reliance on the use of Special Forces when combat is needed.
"When you move into the electronic realm and all this information gathering, at some point you need the boots on the ground to actually enforce the intelligence that you gathered," Runyan said.
Congress is expected to get the proposal some time next week and many experts believe that politics and not military readiness will play a role in deciding what programs stay and what goes.
This isn't the first time the aircraft fleet referred to as the A-10, C-10 or KC-10, also known as the Warthog, that many consider to be bulky and antiquated, has been on the chopping block. Lawmakers in Michigan, Arizona and elsewhere, who sit on powerful appropriation committees have played a major role in sparing the fleet from elimination because they're housed on bases in their home states.